Jess Huang is the first member of her family to work in politics and couldn’t have done it without internships. That’s why she wants to make the intern process more equitable for all.
Previously, she spent over a decade working for elected officials, across all levels of government. When she’s not working, she’s a writer with bylines in CNN, Teen Vogue, Marie Claire, and proudly repped by the Bent Agency. As a graduate student at King’s College London, she helped organize an event for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and learned all about royal protocol. She has an MA in War Studies and is currently a graduate student at Johns Hopkins University in Global Security.
When she’s not writing press releases or thinking about the perfect social media tweet, she’s catering to the whims of her three cats, Tortellini, Jack and Sadie.
Carlos Mark Vera
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Carlos Mark Vera is the Co-Founder and current Executive Director of Pay Our Interns. Originally from Colombia, Carlos was raised in California, but moved to Washington, D.C. to attend American University. While at AU, Carlos was an unpaid intern at the White House, the European Parliament, and the House of Representatives. He knows firsthand the struggles of trying to survive while interning for free. Under his leadership, Pay Our Interns successfully convinced Congress to pass more than $31 million in funding for interns and has helped nonprofits, companies, and presidential campaigns create their internship programs.
Carlos’ efforts on Capitol Hill led him to be named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree, Echoing Green Fellow, Camelback Ventures Fellow, a Top 20 Changemaker by NBC Latino, and an Aspen Ideas Fellow. He has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, The New York Times, CNN and The Atlantic. He has also written for The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, USA Today, and NBC Latino. Carlos proudly served in the Army Reserves as a mechanic for 8 years.
Federal Affairs Manager
Habiba Mohamed is an advocate – always fighting to center those who have yet to see themselves in the halls of power. She’s the daughter of Somali refugees and a proud first-generation college student. She’s a 2016 graduate of D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Habiba knows the barriers unpaid labor reinforce and is working to expand access to paid and well-rounded internship experiences for people in our communities. Building on her experience with Journey’s End Refugee Services, the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and most recently the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Habiba is excited to remind policymakers that we should all be afforded the opportunity to not only survive—but to thrive.
Senior Research Associate
Mario Sanguinet developed an interest in the college-to-career connection after teaching college for a few years and hearing a few students ask: “How will this class help me get a job?” He has been teaching college students how to become better humans by focusing on their relationship and public speaking skills since 2014. He has also worked on local economic development issues like Smart Cities, Urban Agriculture, and San Diego’s Creative Economy. Occasionally, he writes about San Diego’s arts and culture. He graduated with a bachelors, cum laude, and masters in Communication from San Diego State University.
Outreach and Programs Manager
Rose Lopez believes in the power of a good story. She has also taught creative writing at the undergraduate level and, for more than two years, tutored minority and first-generation college students on their academic writing. She is passionate about making educational opportunities available to all. Rose has taken on unpaid internships in the past, but now the only job she does for free is raising her two daughters. She will graduate in Fall 2020 with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Florida International University. She has drafted op-eds on social, economic, and reproductive justice for major non-profit organizations. Her creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Big Muddy Journal, the Drunken Odyssey, and the Normal School. Rose is also a proud Army veteran.